Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019

Niseko Now!

Friday 29th April 2016, 8:39am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Morning from Niseko and the first day of Golden Week.

It's not very golden though... more like cold, grey, wet and gusty.

Yes, it's raining and it's windy - and all of the lifts are waiting it out at both Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Annupuri, so basically there's no riding to be had this morning.

And I'm not sure many people would really want to anyway given the weather. Niseko Village was going to re-open today for sightseeing and transport over to Niseko Grand Hirafu but their Gondola is also on hold.

There is actually some wet snow (/sleet) falling at higher elevations, so I believe. Or perhaps some Epic Deep Powder if you listen to some other folk! ;)-

Hopefully tomorrow will be drier but we are expecting more sunshine from Sunday.


'Golden Week' officially starts from today. (Hurray!)

* Friday 29th April - Sunday 1st May (3 day long weekend)
* Tuesday 3rd May - Thursday 5th May (3 day holiday mid-week)
* Saturday 7th May - Sunday 8th May (normal weekend)

Monday and Friday next week are 'normal weekdays'.

Thursday 5th May is scheduled to be the last day of the snow season here in Niseko.


Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting:

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Niseko Annupuri
All lifts on hold due to weather conditions.


Official resort snow depths as of Friday 29th April 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Top - 250cm
Base - 0cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 230cm
Base - 10cm


Resort operations - subject to change due to snow and weather conditions

Niseko Grand Hirafu resort area lift operations:
Ace Number 2 Center Four Quad (* this lift now used to get to and from the open courses - you can no longer ride back to base)
Ace Number 3 Pair
Ace Number 4 Pair

The resort is 'upgrading' the King Number 3 triple lift in time for next season. As part of that work the Hirafu Gondola, King Number 3 and 4 lifts have all now closed for this season. Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to remain open until Thursday 5th May.

Niseko Annupuri plans to be open until Thursday 5th May with the Gondola, Jumbo 1 and Jumbo 4 lifts operating.

Niseko Village plans to be open for Golden Week until Thursday 5th May. The Gondola can be used as a way of getting to Niseko Grand Hirafu and for sightseeing. None of the courses at Niseko Village are open.

Niseko Hanazono has now closed for the season.


Niseko Grand Hirafu 6 day weather and snow forecast   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Friday 29th April 2016, 8:40am
Weather conditions: Foggy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
More changes this morning.

The Takamagahara Mammoth area decided yesterday in the really-not-nice-weather to finish up for the season.

That leaves us just with a 10-20m wide and 600m long course at the Kumanoyu area now remaining open in the Shiga Kogen area - they plan to remain operating until Sunday.

Mixed weather conditions are forecast from now until then, the mix being made up of cloud, sun, rain, sleet and wet snow.

Funnily enough, there has actually been a bit of snow fall up here overnight and it's trying to snow now too up by Kumanoyu. It's a bit too late now! Foggy too early on.


6 day snow and weather forecasts:

Ichinose Family 6-day snow and weather forecast
Okushiga Kogen 6-day snow and weather forecast
Yokoteyama 6-day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Friday 29th April 2016, 8:41am
Weather conditions: Cloud (bit of sun right now)
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Morning from Yuzawa.

We had to put up with lots of rain yesterday, very heavy at times as well.

This morning wind is affecting operations at Kagura and just the area from Mitsumata Ropeway to the Kagura Number 1 romance pair lift is open. Tashiro Ropeway is closed.

There has actually been a bit of snow higher up as can be seen on the Kagura webcam images... none down here near town where light rain has been falling but actually just as I write this a bit of sun is peaking through cloud. Rain and cloud is what is on the forecast though.

Tomorrow should be drier and somewhat warmer.


Upcoming Golden Week holidays:

* Friday 29th April - Sunday 1st May (3 day long weekend)
* Tuesday 3rd May - Thursday 5th May (3 day holiday mid-week)
* Saturday 7th May - Sunday 8th May (normal weekend)


Resorts that remain open in Yuzawa on Friday 29th April 2016:

The Tashiro Ropeway / Tashiro area plans to be part open until 8th May.
The Kagura area (via Mitsumata Ropeway) plans to be part open until 29th May.
Whether they can actually remain open until those dates with the amount of snow left remains to be seen.

The following courses at Kagura remain at least part open:

- Gondola course
- Kagura main course
- Giant course
- Mogul (until early May)
- Family Course at Mitsumata (open just to connect to the Gondola - snow mats, no natural snow)

Note that strong winds today are affecting operations - see main report above.

Official snow depth:
Kagura area: 150cm
Tashiro area: 100cm
Mitsumata area: -cm


All other resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma are now closed for the season.


List of ski resorts in Yuzawa town
List of ski resorts in Minamiuonuma City


Iwappara 6 day snow and weather forecast
NASPA Ski Garden 6 day snow and weather forecast
Kagura 6 day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Friday 29th April 2016, 8:51am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Has the rain eased off now for the day? I hope so!

It's the first day of Golden Week today as we enter the last bit of the last bit of the season.

It is quite chilly too this morning with temperatures down into single digits. Tomorrow should be warmer and the sun should be with us especially in the morning. Some forecasts have rain later in the day tomorrow while others don't so we'll just have to wait and see on that.


Golden Week holidays this year:

* Friday 29th April - Sunday 1st May (3 day long weekend)
* Tuesday 3rd May - Thursday 5th May (3 day holiday mid-week)
* Saturday 7th May - Sunday 8th May (normal weekend)


6 day forecast for Happo-one:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Happo-one


Resort news as of 8:45am on Friday 29th April 2016 (subject to change due to snow and weather conditions)

Hakuba 47:
Only the top Route 8 course by Line E lift remains open (along with the top Panorama course of Hakuba Goryu).
Top Line E lift only operating.
Access is via Hakuba Goryu - the base area of Hakuba 47 resort is now closed.
Line E plans to be operating until 5th May.
Official snow depth:
Upper: 75cm
Base: -cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Just the top Panorama course remains open (along with the Route 8 course of Hakuba 47).
Gondola and Alps Number 1 pair lift operating.
The lower main Toomi and Iimori areas are now closed.
Get the Gondola back down to base.
47/Goryu lift tickets are now 2500 yen for adults and 1350 yen for children.
Hakuba Goryu plans to be operating until 8th May.
Official snow depth
Alps: 75cm
Toomi: -cm
Iimori: -cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Just part of Panorama and Kurobishi now remain open.
The Riesen Grat course is now closed due to insufficient snow but the Grat quad lift remains operating - for climbers only.
All other areas of the resort are now closed.
Get the Gondola back down to base.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira: 25cm
Nakiyama: -cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
The top Upper Han-no-ki and part of Tsuga-no-mori courses remain open.
All other courses are now closed.
The top Tsugaike Ropeway is open for spring season (note: extra charge required).
Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori: 40cm
Maruyama: -cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm


Other resorts are now closed for the season.
   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Friday 29th April 2016, 9:03am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
That's it for this season then.

Today is the last day of the season for Nozawa Onsen snow resort and the season has ended with quite cold, wet and foggy conditions.

On Tuesday 3rd, Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th of May, the Nagasaka Gondola will be operating, and you can hop on it for free as well. There'll be no snow to ski or board on at the top, but it sounds like there will be a few small events and the Resthouse Yamabiko will also be open for business. If the weather is nice, always a good place to be.

No doubt soon after that things will start heating up as we head into summer, and before you know it thoughts will turn to next winter.

But how about this past winter?


2015/2016 winter season was definitely a relatively poor season for most snow regions of Japan, including the northern region of Nagano.

Please note that I said a relatively poor season. I know lots of people who visited from overseas and were able to have a blast and really loved their time here in Nozawa. While the season started later than planned and ended sooner than planned, there was no unseasonal closing down of lifts and courses necessary etc. It's just that for those of us who know what a 'normal' Nozawa season offers... well, we are probably very spoilt!

The positive to take from it is that it was abnormal, so hopefully we can get back to something more like normal next winter season.

A 'normal' season here in Nozawa sees us getting very large amounts of regular, consistent snowfall. 30cm and more snowfall overnight in the village is a fairly regular thing in a normal season. During the 2015/2016 season we didn't get much of that at all, and unusually we were often looking at the skies and the forecasts and wondering when the next snow might fall. In my Nozawa Now reports for the season, it is telling that I observed less than half the amount of snowfall down here in the village compared with the previous season (472cm compared with 1044cm in 2014/2015). That's a big difference.

If you are reading this report and going about researching Nozawa - and indeed the other regions covered in the SnowJapan daily Now reports - I strongly recommend that you take a good look through the archive reports from previous seasons and not just this most recent season. That way you will get a good idea of how things have been at certain points over a number of years. There are archived reports available going way back to 2002, so you'll need a fair bit of time to get through them!

The archive reports can be found at the bottom of the Nozawa Now report pages on the main desktop site. If you are viewing this report on the mobile version of SnowJapan, click on the link to get over to the main site.


Anyway, that is it from me and the Nozawa Now reports for this season.

Remember, Nozawa is a fine place to be through the year so perhaps some of you will be visiting before next winter season.

Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather forecast
(Forecast updated throughout the year)

I'll be back with Nozawa Now reports in late autumn in the run up to next season, which will probably be due to start in late November 2016. You might see a few changes to the reports as well, though we'll bring you more news on that kind of thing nearer the time. The guys have been busy for over 3 months now working on new developments for the site.

Fingers crossed 2016/2017 will be a good one and we be able to enjoy lots of the Nozawa-rashii (-like) qualities that we love so much.

Thanks for reading and see you later in the year. I hope that you have a good May to November wherever in the world you might be.


Nozawa Onsen main resort data   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Friday 29th April 2016, 9:09am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 30cm
Good morning from Grandeco.

A little snow is falling but it won't cover the courses.

Grandeco has re-opened this morning with the upper part of Rainbow 3500 open. It is about 1km in length, narrow but with great views of Mt. Bandai. The course is not connecting to base and so you need to get the gondola to get back down. It is not a steep course but as it is very narrow some skill is needed and there's no room to 'overtake' or take big wide curves.

The Gondola and Number 2 lifts are operating and a 1 day ticket is 1560 yen for adults and 1200 yen for children.

There are no other ski resort open in Fukushima at this moment.

If the rainbow 3500 course becomes unusable, Grandeco will end the ski season and stop operating the Number 2 lift but will keep operating the Gondola until 8th May for sightseeing tourists and the kid's sled area which is located in near the gondola peak station.

Also, trekking guide tours to the Dekodaira marshlands which are a 30 minute walk from the gondola peak station will start from 1st May. It is a good tour to feel the early spring on the mountain. Snow boots rental is available for this tour.

Operating lifts:
Gondola and Number 2 lift

Opening courses:
Rainbow 3500 upper part (1km long. 5m wide)   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
14th Jun, 10:19am
Naeba Now
07th Jun, 10:08am
Aizu Bandai Now
31st May, 13:35
Shiga Kogen Now
27th May, 9:56am
Furano Now
08th May, 8:47am
Niseko Now
07th May, 19:19pm
Myoko Now
06th May, 9:33am
Hakuba Now
06th May, 9:09
Nozawa Onsen Now
06th May, 8:46
Minakami Now
06th May, 8:16
Madarao Now
06th May, 8:13am
Zao Now
06th May, 7:59
Appi Kogen Now
06th May, 7:59am
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 7:12
Grandeco Now
02nd Feb, 12:34am